Review: A View To A Kill (1985)


Director: John Glen

Starring: Roger Moore, Tanya Roberts, Christoper Walken

Release Date: June 13th 1985 (UK)

So here we are at the end of Roger Moore week. And after six films and being in the role continuously more than any other actor (as of right now, although I’m pretty sure Daniel Craig will leave the second he is able. Still, it’s been 10 years since he was announced and the moronic craignotbond.com scourged its way onto the web) so will Roger Moore get a fitting swansong? In short, no

Well, thats not the entire case. A View To A Kill is an ok (if nothing special) movie in its own right, but once again we are struck by a film which is colossally less than the sum of it’s parts. Roger Moore at this point was quite simply James Bond for an entire generation, and his performance in the previous six films still wins its fan to this day. Unfortunately, after receiving some plastic surgery from a not very skilled surgeon after the completion of Octopussy (1983), in this film he looks (in the words of Sir Roger himself) about a million years too old to be in this. Unfortunately, this also means the rest of the cast is filled with other aged actors, I guess to make sure Roger does not look out of place.

Now before pitchforks are wielded at me, let me say this: not one of the actors are bad, Patrick MacNee’s Tibbet is a revelation and shares so much chemistry with the Knight in the top role that it is a shame only that he is not allowed more of a presence in the movie. Even if it would make absolutely no sense to do so. Lois Maxwell, in her final turn as Miss Moneypenny, does as usual give us a great performance, but it has to be said that this is more than a little distracting for viewers. James Bond doesn’t make for the best geriatric out there, it’s even more disturbing when at the end Roger is making out with a 30 year old Tanya Roberts in a shower and more than a little creepy.

This is less the case when one of the United States’ finest actors, Christopher Walken, takes his stage as enemy Max Zorin. Walken is quite simply one of the best things about this travesty and you can tell he delights in his campy role. When he drops a man from a great height into San Francisco Bay (in a scene with more than a slight whiff of ripping off Goldfinger wholesale), his performance is more than believable. Trust me, it would be easy to over act this or make it simply unbelievable, but Walken manages it and in my opinion, deserves to be remembered in the Bond villain’s gallery. However, his presence and that of the slightly mad and dangerous Grace Jones are simply not enough to distract us from the scarily old age amongst the cast.

It is a fine cast, but for this film, it might (hell, it WOULD) be better if they had cast them instead with younger actors to perform the stunts this film requires and things like taking a shower with a woman nearly 30 years younger than the star. I still think Tanya Roberts deserves some sort of reward for even performing the scene. It can’t have been too pleasant, no matter how much she was paid for it.

In all, its an average film, but in no way is it the fitting swansong that Moore deserved. Next time the role of James Bond is re-cast, almost as Pierce Brosnan, but in the end by the man I feel is the most criminally under rated of the EON 6, Timothy Dalton.

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